ALEXANDRIA — The Thousand Islands Land Trust grew its largest single preserve, the Crooked Creek Preserve, beyond 2,000 acres this summer after purchasing an additional 300 acres on Goose Bay.
The trust in June purchased the property on Route 12 and Kring Point Road from the Broudy Family for $300,000 using funds from the North American Wetland Conservation Act and donations, said Spencer T. Busler, director of land conservation for the trust. The land purchase, which has made the property tax-exempt, is the fourth largest TILT has made since it was established in 1985.
Negotiations between the trust and property owner Dori Ann Broudy lasted about four years until she died earlier this year, and the deal was carried out by her daughters Kate and Berne.
“The entire TILT staff and TILT community is excited to see this project come to fruition,” Mr. Busler said. “It was long time in the making and to add that to our Crooked Creek Preserve makes it that much more special.”
The preserve, home of the about three-mile Macsherry Trail, now consists of 2,075 acres of wetlands and forest along Crooked Creek and the St. Lawrence River in Alexandria and Hammond.
In addition to expanding the preserve, Mr. Busler said, the purchase allows the trust to conserve a biodiverse landscape with mature forest, rock outcrops, scrub brush, forest wetlands more than 100 acres of emergent wetlands, which provide habitats for species that aren’t easily found in upland areas.
The effort also protects several waterfowl, shore birds, reptiles and amphibians that reside in the property including species listed as endangered in the state, such as the pug nose shiner and black tern and species listed as threatened in the state, such as the Blanding’s turtle, the common tern and the northern harrier.
“What we are trying to do is create a corridor for connectivity so that mammals, reptiles and other species that use the property can move freely throughout the landscape,” Mr. Busler said.
The wetlands help mitigate potential flooding and major storms by absorbing excess water from Goose Bay and runoff, Mr. Busler said. By absorbing runoff, the wetlands also absorb sediments that could carry pollutants, protecting the bay’s water quality.
“By protecting that wetland, we’re ensuring high water quality in Goose Bay,” Mr. Busler said. “The Goose Bay community is very interested in protecting the water quality and increasing the water quality of Goose Bay.”
The trust plans to walk the property either annually or biannually to ensure boundary signs remain standing and no encroachment, hunting or firewood chopping occurs, said Brandon J. Hollis, trust stewardship director. The Goose Bay property is open to the public for hiking, kayaking, bird watching and photography.
“As of right now, that property is in a forever wild state,” Mr. Hollis said.
Crooked Creek Conservation Initiative Timeline
■ 1998: TILT establishes preserved when it purchased the 850-acre Rush property
■ 2001: TILT expands preserve to 1,015 acres by purchasing first Broudy parcel for the preserve
■ 2003: TILT expands preserve to 1,250 acres by purchasing Farrington Farm and easement.
■ 2010: TILT expands preserve to 1,625 acres by purchasing Butterfield Marsh
■ 2015: TILT expands preserve to 1,775 acres by purchasing a Limestone Road parcel
■ 2017: TILT expands preserve to 2,075 acres by purchasing second of Broudy family wetlands property